What’s the main factor in healthcare that makes improving the candidate experience a top initiative? Ironically, the economic recovery is adding new challenges to healthcare recruitment. Healthcare is one of the sectors adding the most new jobs to the economy every month. Therefore, healthcare recruiters face an accelerating “war for talent” because as the number of open positions increases so does candidate confidence. “With the economic downturn, people were lulled into a sense of security,” said David Szary, founder of LEAN Human Capital and The Recruiter Academy. “We need to re-train recruiters and managers to compete for top talent in healthcare.” So how can recruiters beat the competition and attain top talent? Before you download our candidate experience white paper for additional information, here are 5 strategies for improving your recruitment process.

1. Communicate with Candidates throughout the Process

Applicant tracking software plays a central role in promoting better candidate communication. Judie Goe, Director of Talent Aquisition and Development at Scottsdale Healthcare, noted, “Our applicant tracking system allows us to easily access candidate information and manage the data aspect of the hiring process.” With an applicant tracking system, candidates can also log-in themselves and check their status. 

Blend high-tech with high-touch. Stay in touch with candidates frequently and in a more personalized way throughout the hiring process. As Jason Gallo, Recruiter Strategist at Loma Linda University Medical Center, said, “The application and interviewing process is like a courting relationship. When we follow up with candidates after an interview, we prefer a high-touch experience where we converse with them in-person.”

2. Develop an Efficient but Thorough Application Process

After applicants pass the initial screening processes, many top healthcare organizations use behavioral interviewing as a way for candidates to shine. This technique gives applicants a unique opportunity to discuss their experiences in-depth with managers and peers but in a more focused and efficient way by honing in on the most important behavioral skills for the specific position. Since behavioral interviewing is based on finding employees who are the right culture fit, it also gives candidates the chance to learn about the team and your organization’s values. 

Candidate Walking to an Interview resized 600

3. Promote Hiring Manager Accountability

Akron Children’s Hospital has worked with LEAN Human Capital to implement a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which defines response time expectations for both the recruitment team and hiring managers. That means hiring managers are held accountable for reviewing and responding to applicants within a specicifed time period. This enhances the candidate experience by creating a more consistent process and it gives the organization a competitive advantage. Tessa Schmidt, Employment Manager at Akron Children’s Hospital, noted, “One reason we implemented an SLA is because we don’t want to lose applicants to competitors who respond more quickly.”

4. Use Top Performers to Attract Top Talent

Publicize the accomplishments and profiles of outstanding healthcare employees through online and print advertising, including social media. Top performers love being recognized for their work and top talent will want to work with those A+ employees. Using employees in ad camapigns also lends crediblity to your organization. Scottsdale Healthcare has videos on its career micro-site featuring employees discussing what it’s like to work there. When information comes directly from employees, candidates feel that it has a great deal of credibility. Here at HealthcareSource, we created a video to help our own talent aquisition efforts. 

Involve top performers in the interview process, too. As Jason Gallo said, “With peer interviewing, candidates can really put a face with the job and its responsiblities. In order to ensure the right approach, utilize a structured behavioral interview guide (one that is posted on your Intranet and easily accessible) so that each peer interview is consistent. 

5. Build Long Term Relationships with Candidates

Mentor promosing candidates by offering them practical resume feedback when their expertise and skills do not match current needs but might in the future. Jason Gallo noted that taking this extra step is something that differenciates healthcare organizations and is usually remembered years later. In order to stay in touch with those top candidates that don’t match current needs, capture candidate informaton in an applicant tracking system. This will help you build an easily accessible and accurate pipeline. 

For strategies on creating mobile-friendly and impactful recruitment emails, advice from the founders of LEAN Human Capital and much more on each of these 5 best practices, download our Improving the Candidate Experience White Paper

Enter our new Facebook contest by this Monday April 23, 5pm EST. Share three strategies for healthcare recruitment on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a Kindle Fire!

About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.